Bruce Webb is a disabled veteran and medical cannabis patient who lives in Bayport, N.S. An encounter with RCMP in February has left him scared and afraid, after being tased by police during the encounter. He was charged with resisting arrest and for assaulting an officer in a restaurant he lives above.
Partial footage from that night is available on youtube, but RCMP spokesperson Cpl Jennifer Clarke says that while the arrest was lawful, she couldn’t release many details of the arrest since the issue is before the courts now. The police made two visits to the restaurant and it was the second time that the arrest was made. Clarke says that multiple calls were made to 911 that night, but Webb says he called only once after the initial visit to the restaurant because .
The 53-year-old Webb has a spinal cord stimulator (SCS) implanted near his spine, which uses electrodes to reduce his severe back pain. He warned the officers about this during the scuffle, as he was afraid the taser would be fatal on account of this implant, but it was still used on him. He says that “I didn’t know where they were going to shoot me. I didn’t know anything.”
The video appears to show one officer knocking a phone out of Webb’s hand, followed by Webb attempting to strike the officer. He affirms that he was no threat to the officer though, “I have chronic pain. I can’t even sit on the floor, let alone be beat around,” Webb said.
Carleton University criminologist, Darryl Davies, says his view is that the taser use was unwarranted and a growing problem among Canadian police. “There was no justification for the officers in that situation to use a Taser. If a large number of policemen are present, and they could have assisted in subduing the individual and handcuffing him, there’s absolutely no justification for deploying the Taser.” he said.
The Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) in Nova Scotia is reviewing the footage on youtube and will decide to launch an investigation into this incident.